Public is split over supervised injection sites

While 92 percent of Massachusetts residents think addiction to heroin or opiates is either a crisis or a major problem, support and opposition to supervised drug injection sites is closely divided, a new poll found.

A new WBUR poll conducted by the MassINC Polling Group asked 660 Massachusetts adults what they think of “opening clinics where people using heroin and other opiates could take their drugs under medical supervision so that medical staff could revive anyone who overdoses.”

It’s an idea that state lawmakers have flirted with in recent years. Half of the respondents said they support the idea – 28 percent said they strongly support it and another 22 percent said they are somewhat supportive, the poll found.

Opposition totaled 43 percent, with 30 percent of all respondents saying they are strongly opposed. Another 8 percent of adults said they had no opinion or refused to answer.

The WBUR/MassINC poll revealed the extent of the opioid misuse and overdose epidemic in Massachusetts. Fifty-seven percent of people said they know someone who has struggled with an addiction to heroin or other opiates in the last year. Addiction is a “crisis” in Massachusetts, 53 percent of respondents said.